Dr Richard Laws

Zoologist Richard Laws started his career as a biologist on the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (1947). In 1954, he won the Bruce memorial Prize for investigations in the South Orkney Islands and South Georgia on the ecology of elephant seals, the subject of his Cambridge PhD (1953).

Dr Richard Laws

After spending a season as a whaling inspector, he joined the national Institute of Oceanography (1955-61) where he continued his work on whales. Later in his career he was a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission.

Although known for his work in the Antarctic, he was also an expert on the large mammals of Africa and in 1960 he was appointed Director of the Nuffield Unit of Tropical Animal Ecology in Uganda. Over the next eight years, his research focused on hippopotamus and elephant ecology.

Dr Laws spent a year as Director of the Tsavo Research Project in Kenya (1967-68), before returning to Cambridge to resume Antarctic research. In 1969, he became Head of the Life Sciences Division of the Cambridge-based British Antarctic Survey and was its Director from 1973 until his retirement in 1987. He was Master of St Edmunds College, Cambridge from 1985 until 1996.

The recipient of several prestigious awards, Dr Laws was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1980, and is a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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